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Completely and Utterly changing the playoffs, version 1

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#1 Mike Sixel

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 01:20 PM

I wrote a little something on my blog....about blowing up the playoffs for MLB. No one will do it, but they should....

 

https://mikesixel.co...season-for-mlb/

 

(no ads on the site......)

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#2 nicksaviking

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 01:32 PM

I remember you bringing this up before. Sounds fun. I might think that much of a layoff for the 1 seed might have some disadvantages though. 

 

Anyway, interesting stuff. Of course at this point it's hard not to picture a 95 win Twins team getting swept out of the playoffs by a 65 win Royals team.

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#3 Vanimal46

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 01:40 PM

I concur with Nick that the layoff a #1 seed will have puts them at a disadvantage. I do like your idea more than the direction MLB is heading...

The biggest draw baseball has is the marathon of a 154/162 game regular season. I doubt adding another 82 win team to the playoffs is going to result in more teams “trying” to win. If anything, we’ll have more situations like the 2015 Twins. A team that could technically be a playoff team with a 0.1% chance of advancing, that elects to sell instead of buy.

#4 Mike Sixel

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 01:54 PM

Yup, my next proposal works on the layoff (and also decreasing the huge advantage of having to play less rounds)......

 

And, everyone loves the underdog winning in the NCAA....

 

It is also why a bigger deal needs to be made about the best record in the first season, imo.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#5 Mike Sixel

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 02:40 PM

The three division winners and next best team (in my next proposal, going up tomorrow) get 5-6 days off, which I think makes more sense.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#6 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 05:51 PM

 

I wrote a little something on my blog....about blowing up the playoffs for MLB. No one will do it, but they should....

 

https://mikesixel.co...season-for-mlb/

 

(no ads on the site......)

 

I like the proposal--I actually did a similar thing a couple months ago on this site (see below).

 

One thing; the number of games potentially needed in rounds 2 and 3 is off.For round 2, the max number of games the series could go is 2 (either the team with the better record will win the one game it needs to advance, or the team with the lesser record will win both games, and therefore advance).

 

Same thing in round 3--the team with the better record will either win 2 of the first 4 games, and thereby advance, or they will go 1-3 (or 0-3), and lose to the team with the lesser record by game 4.

 

Other than that, it's super intriguing, and I would be all in support of (almost) any proposal that moves us closer to a true postseason tournament.


#7 ashbury

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 06:27 PM

I come at this from a different set of goals than you laid out. I want to find a way to parallel the success of the NCAA basketball tournament, which engages generation after generation of fan by providing a month of compelling must-watch TV. For many folks, the best round of that tournament is the opening round - two relatives (my son and my sister) make it a tradition to take vacation from work in order to pig-out watching those first games.

 

The "win or go home" aspect of the hoops tourney can't be matched precisely, unless baseball goes to one-game series all the way through. But I am bothered by a proposal that would sideline all the most interesting teams at the outset, and where the very best teams don't debut until near the end.

 

People watch #1 Duke vs #16 West Cupcake in the opening round, in rotation with all the other games. They watch the #16 play-in game a day or two earlier as a fun novelty. But interest would dwindle if the opening round was all #9-#16, #10-#15 etc. That's what this plan looks like to me.

 

Find some different way of making the regular season meaningful, than this.

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#8 Nine of twelve

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 08:58 PM

I'm not going to advocate for any particular method of determining the World Champion. I'm just going to present some thoughts.

 

At one end of the spectrum of possibilities is having only a regular season. Ideally there would be a symmetrical round-robin schedule. For example, each team plays 3 home games and 3 road games against each of the other 29 teams. The team that finishes with the best record wins.

 

At the other end of the spectrum is having no regular season. There would be a tournament of some kind and the winner is World Champion.

 

Between those two ends are so many options for having a regular season of some kind to set up a tournament of some kind that the number of ways to do it is nearly uncountable.

 

If there is a tournament, whether a regular season has any bearing on it or not, the question then would be how to optimally structure it. For example, there are single-elimination tournaments. There are double-elimination tournaments, which are fairly common in baseball. And, with the complexity rising at each level, triple-elimination, quadruple-elimination, etc-elimination tournaments are possible.

Within each type of tournament there are many possible ways to assign one bye or multiple byes to one team or multiple teams. There are also many ways to decide where the games will be played, who the home teams would be, etc. etc. etc. The number of ways to do this is nearly uncountable.

 

With the nearly uncountable ways to determine a World Champion it's clear to me that whatever choice is made will be a highly arbitrary one, and that any option chosen will have many things wrong with it. So pick something that's not too complicated, accept that it's highly flawed, and just play baseball.


#9 Mike Sixel

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 12:18 AM

I like the proposal--I actually did a similar thing a couple months ago on this site (see below).

One thing; the number of games potentially needed in rounds 2 and 3 is off. For round 2, the max number of games the series could go is 2 (either the team with the better record will win the one game it needs to advance, or the team with the lesser record will win both games, and therefore advance).

Same thing in round 3--the team with the better record will either win 2 of the first 4 games, and thereby advance, or they will go 1-3 (or 0-3), and lose to the team with the lesser record by game 4.

Other than that, it's super intriguing, and I would be all in support of (almost) any proposal that moves us closer to a true postseason tournament.


Yup. I'll edit that tomorrow.... on the two game thing. Thanks for reading

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#10 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 10:52 AM

 

I like the proposal--I actually did a similar thing a couple months ago on this site (see below).

 

One thing; the number of games potentially needed in rounds 2 and 3 is off.For round 2, the max number of games the series could go is 2 (either the team with the better record will win the one game it needs to advance, or the team with the lesser record will win both games, and therefore advance).

 

Same thing in round 3--the team with the better record will either win 2 of the first 4 games, and thereby advance, or they will go 1-3 (or 0-3), and lose to the team with the lesser record by game 4.

 

Other than that, it's super intriguing, and I would be all in support of (almost) any proposal that moves us closer to a true postseason tournament.

 

Self-quote, as I couldn't edit the original post, and forgot to include the link to my post.

 

http://twinsdaily.co...mat-a-proposal/


#11 Mike Sixel

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 12:39 PM

Here you go.....taking some of your advice, and the better teams only get 5 days off this time....NCAA bracket style....

 

https://mikesixel.co...e-mlb-playoffs/

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#12 ToddlerHarmon

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 01:54 PM

Some thoughts:

 

1) The greatest incentive you can provide each team is the revenue of more home playoff games. So byes would disincentivize, unless you have a BIG pot of broadcast money for the eventual champion. In baseball, the in-person revenue trumps that

 

2) If you want a point-in-time "best team" to win your tournament, you can't do that in baseball with less than a three game series, maybe not even with less than a five-game series. The season demands teams be built with depth that takes a long series to test. March Madness only works because the underdogs are much less likely to win. Getting a Pirates/Tigers series in 2020 would have excited nobody

 

3) One strategy for handing out more playoff berths without de-emphasizing the regular season is to hand out more championships, and reduce or eliminate wildcards. So, more divisions (4 in each league), and more uneven schedules. (e.g. we play the Royals 12 games, the Yankees 6, and the Dodgers 3 each season)

 

4) IMO, baseball should look into a relegation system, like European soccer. The teams have large rosters, are not dominated by individual players, and the long season is most intriguing as a set of stories about players you know. Relegation would allow fans to be familiar with a smaller set of players.And of course, the impact of the regular season would be obvious

 

One other thought: maybe the old ways are best: people will clearly keep attending "meaningless" baseball games, at least before Labor Day. And, the playoffs may already be too long to hold people's interest. Perhaps going back to just a World Series, or just an LCS and WS, is the sweet spot for this sport


#13 Mike Sixel

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 03:09 PM

 

Some thoughts:

 

1) The greatest incentive you can provide each team is the revenue of more home playoff games. So byes would disincentivize, unless you have a BIG pot of broadcast money for the eventual champion. In baseball, the in-person revenue trumps that

 

2) If you want a point-in-time "best team" to win your tournament, you can't do that in baseball with less than a three game series, maybe not even with less than a five-game series. The season demands teams be built with depth that takes a long series to test. March Madness only works because the underdogs are much less likely to win. Getting a Pirates/Tigers series in 2020 would have excited nobody

 

3) One strategy for handing out more playoff berths without de-emphasizing the regular season is to hand out more championships, and reduce or eliminate wildcards. So, more divisions (4 in each league), and more uneven schedules. (e.g. we play the Royals 12 games, the Yankees 6, and the Dodgers 3 each season)

 

4) IMO, baseball should look into a relegation system, like European soccer. The teams have large rosters, are not dominated by individual players, and the long season is most intriguing as a set of stories about players you know. Relegation would allow fans to be familiar with a smaller set of players.And of course, the impact of the regular season would be obvious

 

One other thought: maybe the old ways are best: people will clearly keep attending "meaningless" baseball games, at least before Labor Day. And, the playoffs may already be too long to hold people's interest. Perhaps going back to just a World Series, or just an LCS and WS, is the sweet spot for this sport

 

Shared revenue DWARFS in person attendance money for most teams in MLB....so of course the money from the playoffs would be spread some, but most of it comes from advancing. 

 

The best way to make the long season matter is to eliminate the playoffs, but that isn't happening for any sport in the US. No chance.

 

I have no idea how to make a post-season replicate the opportunity costs of the regular season. Not even a 5 game series really does that. And, unless you reduce the regular season, you can't have too many rounds of 5 or 7 game series given the weather.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins.